Monday, 23 January 2017

Birthday Flowers

It's become something of an annual tradition on this blog to celebrate the birthday (in 1832) of the great, unclassifiable French painter Edouard Manet (often gracing the occasion with an excruciating pun - but we've had too manet of those, so please, no more).
 This year's picture, Pinks and Clematis in a Crystal Vase, is one of many beautiful flower paintings Manet executed in his long final illness. It was painted in 1882 and now hangs in the Musée d'Orsay. As with most of these late studies, the arrangement of the flowers seems artless and casual, as if Manet is happy to paint whatever comes his way, to absorb it with his hungry gaze and recreate it in paint. These are flowers put in a vase with little thought - you can even see the twine still on the bunch that forms part of this display - but glorified by Manet's art, by the rapt attention he directs on them and on the crystal vase in which they stand. These paintings are almost as much studies of light on glass and water as they are of flowers. They radiate light; casual though they seem, they are a kind of apotheosis of flower painting.
 A few years ago the Royal Academy staged a fine exhibition of Manet's portraits. I do wish they'd devote one to his flower paintings - it would be a surefire hit and, more importantly, a wonderful aesthetic experience.


2 comments:

  1. Was Looking for some birthday flowers as have to throw my friend a birthday party at one of local venues. Have seen your flowers and will use them in my party and surely it will look awesome. Flowers Delivery for it will be done by a local florist.

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  2. But the most important thing is that Ella loved it, and I know she did! Happy birthday to my big girl! Memories

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